New Congressman-to-Be Visits Hurleyville: March 2022

Redistricting Brings Change
by John Conway

HURLEYVILLE, March 2022 — The area’s new U.S. Representative-to-be, Congressman Mondaire Jones, visited Hurleyville last week, and his stops included the office of The Hurleyville Sentinel.

If re-elected in November, Mr. Jones will succeed a fellow Democrat, Congressman Antonio Delgado, in representing the area following the redistricting done as a result of the 2020 Census. Sullivan County will now be part of the 17th Congressional District instead of the 19th. The current 17th District encompasses all of Rockland County and parts of central and northern Westchester County, but that will change, with parts of Westchester coming off and chunks of Orange and Sullivan being tacked on.

The 19th District as currently represented by Mr. Delgado comprises 11 counties, including all of Sullivan and neighboring Ulster County. Mr. Delgado’s new district will lose all of Sullivan and part of Ulster in favor of additional territory to the north, and will be more than 160 miles wide at one point.

Congressman Jones, 34, was raised in Spring Valley by a single mother, and attended East Ramapo schools. He then graduated Stanford University. He worked for a time in the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Legal Policy, where he vetted candidates for federal judgeships and worked to reform the criminal legal system “to make it more fair and equitable.” He later graduated from Harvard Law School.

Prior to running for Congress, Mr. Jones worked as a litigator in private practice, and was recognized by The Legal Aid Society of New York for his pro bono service investigating claims of employment discrimination and helping families defrauded during the Great Recession recover funds. Subsequently, he served as a litigator in the Westchester County Law Department.

He was first elected to Congress in 2020, defeating Republican Maureen McArdle Schulman by more than 24 percentage points in the race to succeed longtime representative Nita Lowey, a Democrat who retired after 32 years in the House.

Congressman Jones’ stop at The Sentinel office was just a small part of his swing through Sullivan County, as local Democrats escorted him to many stops from one end of the County to the other. His many meet-and-greets included leadership from The Center for Discovery, which is what brought him to Hurleyville.

Although his visit was brief, he promised to become a frequent visitor to the area, even though his new district will be quite large in a geographic sense, ranging from White Plains in Westchester County westward through Nanuet and Spring Valley in Rockland County, then northwesterly through nine towns and one city in Orange County and all of Sullivan County. The Orange County section of the district runs from Tuxedo and Monroe in the east to the city of Port Jervis and the town of Deerpark in the west.

The new map of New York congressional districts was drawn by Democratic state lawmakers despite vocal opposition from their Republican counterparts. By law, congressional districts are redrawn after each census. New York state lost one of its seats in Congress as the result of a loss in population and will have 26 instead of 27 seats beginning in 2023.